Image source: SingledOut.org
Dating can be awkward and weird, especially when the time comes to discuss big issues. We’ve all had conversations about careers, kids, travel, birth control, abortion, HIV status, and million other cringe-worthy topics — but have you ever asked if your date owns a gun?
You probably should.
The CDC estimates that 1 in 3 women will experience abuse in their lifetime, and nearly 1 in 5 may be stalked. When a gun is present in a domestic-violence situation, it raises a woman's risk of being killed by 500 percent, according to a study in the American Journal of Public Health.
No one wants to imagine the guy across the table from is going to turn abusive or wake us in the night with a cocking the trigger by our ears, but this stuff happens according to abuse hotline counselors. Guns are used as weapons to kill women, and they’re used as threats and tools of terror.
Gun safety group Everytown USA and Cosmopolitan have teamed up to launched a new website called SingledOut.org to educate women about talking to guys about guns in the early part of a relationship (it could also help guys talk to girls about guns but guys are 3 times more likely to own guns than girls so we’ll just follow the math). The website is loaded with facts about domestic violence laws, truths about how guns are used in relationships, and ways to talk about guns on dates.
This information is so critical to the safety of women. I’m a mom, and I’ve always talked to other parents about safe gun storage before I've let my kids play at their houses. I’m grateful to Cosmo and Everytown for reminding me that the next phase of the conversation will be teaching my kids how to talk to intimate partners about guns. The conversation isn’t romantic, but staying safe is my idea of a happy ending.